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14. Antarctica

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Chapter Summary

Antarctica's international boundaries may be distinguished from the international boundaries of other continents in five ways. The Antarctic Treaty was drafted in December 1959 following the successful period of international cooperation during the International Geophysical Year. By the middle of 1961 the 12 countries named in the preamble to the treaty had ratified it. The legal validity of Antarctica has not been tested by an international tribunal; the attempt by the UK to resolve its overlapping claims with Argentina and Chile before the ICJ failing when the matter was struck out of the Court's docket for lack of jurisdiction. The seven claims to Antarctic sovereignty rest primarily in evidence of effective occupation, cession, recognition and acquiescence. The Antarctic claims of Australia and New Zealand rest in the first analysis upon cession of title by the United Kingdom.

Keywords: Antarctica; international frontiers



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